Both your dentist and your hygienist have a crucial role to play in combatting gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK. At Harley Street Dental Clinic our patients also benefit from the services of a specialist periodontist (a dental professional who has undergone additional training to specialise in the treatment of gum disease and other gum problems).
Gum disease: a common problem
The majority of people will experience mild gum disease at some time in their life. Whilst this is a serious condition, it can – with regular visits to your dentist and hygienist combined with a good home care regime – be treated and managed.
However, just because it is a common problem this does not mean you should ignore it or hope it will get better on its own. Whilst the early stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is relatively easy to treat and manage, left untreated it can develop into the more serious form of the condition, known as periodontal disease or periodontitis. This can cause tooth loss and damage to the jaw bone.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Gingivitis can be difficult to spot, but early warning signs to stay alert for include:
- Gums that bleed when brushing your teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that are red or swollen, whether painful or not
Your dentist is in a prime position to spot early warning signs of gum disease, even if you haven’t noticed anything yourself yet. When you come into our Harley Street clinic for a standard dental check-up, your dentist will closely examine your teeth and gums, and may ask about symptoms such as bleeding gums.
Gum disease is caused by dental plaque, and factors such as diet, smoking, and some medicines can increase your susceptibility. A visit to our Harley Street clinic’s hygienist will help combat the condition in these early stages.